Babywearing a Newborn: The carriers I use to wear my baby

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With my first daughter we had to learn about babywearing on the fly. It was definitely a shock to learn how much babies hate being put down!

This second time around, we learned from our experience and armed ourselves with every carrier imaginable. After the initial sleepy two weeks of loving being put down, Miss E now demands a warm body under her at all times. So I am now wearing her almost full time while I look after Miss A and do the chores. It’s not the easiest thing to do, believe me, but to me it’s the natural thing to do. This is how primitive societies went about their lives. Babies are meant to be carried, not put down! Miss A napped on me for a full year and I’m prepared to carry Miss E for as long as she needs too.

These are the carriers I’m using to babywear my newborn:

Ergo Baby (Soft Structured Carrier)

2 Weeks PP

We were given the Ergo carrier (original version) as a hand-me-down so I wasn’t even aware there was an infant insert for newborns that could be purchased until much later. We only started using it when Miss A was big enough to fit which was when she was about 10 weeks old. This time we got our hands on a newborn insert so we could use it from the start.
 
infant insert
 
The bad: After a few uses I have to say I don’t think this carrier is the best for newborns and really small babies though. The infant insert has a little seat they sit on and apparently they’re meant to sit in the frog leg/M position (knees higher than bum). As you can see in the picture above though, the design doesn’t exactly make sitting in the correct leg position easy because the middle strap pushes their knees inwards. Most of the time I just felt like I was squishing bub’s legs/feet uncomfortably into my body. There also isn’t enough neck support for the newborn stage. However, now that Miss E is over a month and bigger I find I can get her in the correct position by not buckling up the middle strap- but that’s only possible this early because she’s big for her age.
 
The good: The good thing about the Ergo is being able to go 100% hands free and trust baby will not slip out. This is essential when you need to push a pram with a toddler in it. Once bub is big enough to fit well in this carrier, it really is fantastic. We used it with Miss A until she was 2.5 years old!
 
Verdict: This is the carrier I use when I need to handle two of them on my own when out.
 
Hug-a-Bub Wrap

DSCF0268

Thanks to uber engorged boobs when I had my first daughter, I had trouble utilizing the Hug-a-Bub wrap then as it pretty much involves tying a baby tightly to your chest! This time with a more controlled milk supply, I have actually been able to use it and feel the $40 I spent on this secondhand wrap wasn’t a total waste of money (it retails brand new at over $100) .

The good: I like how baby is able to sit properly in the correct M leg position even as a newborn and you can wrap them super tight against you and even tuck their head in so it doesn’t flop about. It’s fantastic for doing chores (even cooking and washing dishes) around the home as baby is locked in tight and it’s not bulky like a soft structured carrier.

The bad: The issue I have with the Hug-a-Bub is that it isn’t the quickest to whip on (especially when baby is screaming) and it’s very awkward getting it on and off in public as the fabric is super duper long. My newborn also hates having her head tucked in all the time and will fight it unless she’s deeply asleep. 

Verdict: This is the one I wear around the home or if I need to duck out to do something quickly and am sure bub is not going to need to come out of the wrap until I get home.

Ring Sling (Homemade)

ring sling

Most ring slings cost around $100 which my mum thought was ridiculous so she made me one! It’s good to have a mum with sewing skills!

The good: What is great about the ring sling is the speed with which you can pop it on and off. It is also possible to get on without waking bub after he/she has fallen asleep in your arms. It’s light and non-bulky and you can carry bubba in a cradle position or an upright one. I recommend looking up YouTube videos on how to wear a newborn upright- it does take a bit of practice to get right.

The bad: It’s not as tight a fit as the Hug-a-Bub and I am a little paranoid about her coming out of the cloth seat so find myself constantly checking the sling. 

Verdict: Generally I wear this one for social situations when I know bub will need to go in and out for a feed over time or if I know there are people who will want to hold her.

***

I guess, in short, all carriers have their pros and cons so I do like having all the options! Generally which one I grab depends on the environment/circumstance and what mood I’m in! One thing is for sure, babywearing helps you survive the newborn stage a little easier and I highly recommend it.

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